Thursday, August 23, 2012

Summer reading questions on Oedipus The King and Minority Report

Answer the following questions either typed or neatly handwritten to be turned in during the first week of class. Consider the questions and develop your answers thoughtfully. Much of the first weeks of school will be taken up with the play and the film, so be sure you have read and watched carefully!

  1. To what extent is Oedipus responsible for his own fate in the play? Be prepared to discuss at least two examples from the text which lead you to believe he is or is not responsible.
  2. How good a king is Oedipus?  In what ways does he excel as a leader?  In what ways does he fall short?
  3. Since Oedipus is considered the quintessential tragic hero, then what would you argue is his tragic mistake?  In other words, what in his own character/personality or what wrong-headed action does he take which leads him to his ultimate downfall? Choose a particular flaw or action and explain its relation to his disgrace and exile.
  4. If we agree that Oedipus the King is about the role of fate and humans’ inability to escape destiny, in what ways does Minority Report, and the character of John Anderton in particular, support or refute Oedipus’ notion of destiny?  Think of two scenes that support your position.
  5. The eyes are often associated not just with the act of seeing but also of revealing oneself to others. In the film, explain the different ways that eyes or the act of seeing are used for:  1. The Precogs, 2. John Anderton, 3. The culture of the world of the film.
  6. The story upon which the movie is based was written in the 1950's.  The movie came out in 2002 but is set in 2054.  How much of the events/the attitudes of the movie do you see in contemporary American culture?  Where will be in 44 years?  Speculate on the direction in which our country is headed.  What future contingencies are we preparing for?  To what extent does our attempt to prepare for certain future events determine our own fate? 


  1. do you have the answers for these questions?

  2. Is this still valid for the 2014 summer reading?

  3. do we need to answer these questions for the 2014 summer reading?

  4. How long does the replies have to be?

  5. For question 6, wouldn't 44 years from now be 2058? And I noticed that these questions were written for 2012, but wouldn't 44 years still be 2056? And the movie takes place in 2054...